July 20, 2018
After how difficult yesterday was, many of us felt the need to stay together. Despite being told that work was optional, all of the doctors on the team insisted on working. When we got to the camps, we were greeted by a group of 20 children who spontaneously burst into song. Their rendition of the “ABC’s” was especially moving. At the end, we gave out toothbrushes and after handing out a few, news spread and the children started singing “give us toothbrushes, we love toothbrushes” to the same tune as the ABCs. We ended the day with high fives from the children and left the camps for the last time.
On the way back, we stopped into the SAMS clinic building in Tripoli to donate the equipment we’d been using: blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, thermometers, and any other miscellaneous supplies we had each brought. Our team worked together and it was seamless. Many of the physicians on this team started off as strangers, and now it is impossible to not see this group as brothers and sisters. As the pharmacy which we had created got packed into boxes, a patient came in and asked to be seen. We had officially closed the clinic, but we could not leave this patient behind. One of the internists stepped away from the packing to ensure that this last patient received care.
The clinic was again shuttered. Our team leader met with the head of the municipality of Tripoli in order to advocate for an ongoing staffed refugee clinic in the space. He seemed positively disposed but no promises were made. For now, it will be shuttered until the next mission.